12 OCTOBER 2015
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Talks aimed at settling a bitter industrial dispute at Air France resumed at the weekend and are due to continue tomorrow (Tuesday).
The move follows violence at the airline’s headquarters last Monday when senior officials had their shirts ripped off. French political leaders condemned the scenes, which they said were "a national embarrassment" that reinforced the very image the country wanted to shake off.
The workers involved in Monday's actions were protesting against an airline proposal for pilots and cabin crew to work longer hours for the same pay as a way of dealing with growing competition.
Air France, along with other European carriers, is battling low-cost competitors on short-haul routes and from the Gulf-based airlines on long-haul.
Air France officials say failure to secure the air crews' agreement for the original plan has now forced them to come up with a more sweeping one that involves cutting 2,900 jobs and dropping 10% of its long-haul routes.
France’s Prime Minister Manuel Valls said: "It would be a drama for our country if a business so symbolic were to find itself in trouble because a minority refuses to adapt to a changing world."
Air France has launched a legal complaint over last week’s incident. www.airfrance.com
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